Glasgow went over to Treviso needing a win, and not much more. In the end that is exactly what they got, with both sides fully committed and Treviso’s willingness to run the ball coming up hard against Glasgow’s stubborn defence.
As Treviso’s will to attack wilted slightly, the game grew niggly with Al Kellock making a thorough nuisance of himself, but most of the (many) penalties for either side were not kickable. A pair of yellow cards settled things down a bit, but with the scrum and breakdown a mess tension was never far from the surface. Chris Fusaro was also a constant presence around the park and the Glasgow back row shut down most Treviso moves early.
The one move that did get wide led to an early try for Treviso pace man Brendan Williams, but following that breakaway – that Chris Cusiter was fingertips away from saving – Glasgow’s line was never seriously threatened again, although Treviso did get the ball near. The Warriors defence has been good all season, and continues to be so.
Not to be denied some three pointers, Kris Burton tried endless drop goals; ultimately his kicking from hand in testing conditions was nowhere near as effective as that of Weir and Hogg who managed to play the territory well. It was evenly matched, but neither side was getting into the red zone to threaten a score.
It wasn’t until the long-awaited return of DTH Van Der Merwe from the bench that the Warriors were able to break away from their opponents, as he powered past several defenders to score the try that gave Glasgow a firm lead with only a few minutes to play. With the likes of Hogg, Dunbar, Lamont and DTHVDM in the back line next season, Townsend will have some pretty handy weaponry to call on when he takes over the reins.
Glasgow then shut up shop again and took what they needed back home to Firhill for a crunch game against Connacht.
It’ll be the last game there, and a send off for Sean Lineen and Richie Gray among others, so sure to be a big day out for the Firhill faithful even with the Sevens going on in Glasgow that weekend too.
Glasgow need a win or a draw to guarantee play-offs, but won’t be taking anything for granted. Assuming that happens on the 6th, here are the permutations for the play-offs:
- If Munster lose without a bonus point Glasgow will finish third, and face the Ospreys.
- If Munster win and the Scarlets or Ulster lose then Glasgow will finish fourth and a likely trip to Dublin to face Leinster.
Neither of these locations have been massively happy hunting grounds for Glasgow
this season in the past [thanks clyde!].
Oh, and Edinburgh got beaten in the league (again) 38-13 by Cardiff.
Rory is the editor of Scottish Rugby Blog, and has offered a fan's view on Scottish Rugby since founding the blog.